AUBURN — DeKalb EMS could become Parkview EMS as soon as Oct. 1, the DeKalb County Commissioners learned Monday.
The commissioners have a contract with DeKalb Health to provide emergency medical services for $200,000 per year. It runs through 2020, and would continue if Parkview takes charge of EMS, commissioners heard.
The switch to Parkview remains tentative, because nothing has been signed to complete a potential affiliation of DeKalb Health with Parkview, said Tasha Eicher, president CEO of DeKalb Health, in an interview Tuesday.
“We were proactive in communicating with the commissioners so it would be a smooth transition when and if we affiliate with Parkview,” Eicher said about Tuesday’s meeting at the courthouse with two officials of Parkview EMS.
Eicher said Oct. 1 remains a tentative target date for DeKalb Health and Parkview to affiliate, a plan first revealed in March, when it was described as a “letter of intent to develop a strategic partnership.”
“Since then we’ve been doing lots of due diligence to make sure this is right for both parties,” Eicher said.
Parkview currently operates 19 ambulance vehicles plus its helicopter flight service, said Trent Miller of Parkview EMS. Its Samaritan helicopter is based at the DeKalb County Airport south of Auburn.
If the affiliation takes place, DeKalb EMS staff members would become Parkview employees.
“We don’t plan on turning over anybody,” Miller told the commissioners.
DeKalb County ambulances would continue at their existing home bases, he said. They would be converted to Parkview’s green insignia.
When all three DeKalb-based ambulances are busy, Parkview would begin moving additional ambulances to cover DeKalb County, Miller said.
“We’re kind of built around being proactive and moving things to we can hit response times the best,” he said.
Parkview aims to reach 90 percent of calls within 13 minutes, he said. Usually, calls within a city have response times of 2-3 minutes.
Parkview’s staff would communicate with ambulance crews to give them medical advice, in addition to local emergency dispatchers, Miller said.
During the discussion. County Commissioners President Don Grogg said that for 2020, commissioners are budgeting money to reimburse local fire departments for responding to medical calls.
“We’re just rewarding them a little bit. It’s not much, trust me,” Grogg said.